Who is Matthew James sentenced to 12 years in prison for impersonating NBA star Marcus Smart?

A few years ago, a piece of particular news surfaced involving an insurance scam that specifically grabbed the attention of NBA fans. The name Marcus Smart, reported in the case turned a lot of heads.

Now after 2 years, the actual culprit has been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison after being found guilty. But how did the recently departed Grizzlies guard get involved in this scam?

Who is Matthew James?

The offender in the aforementioned fraudulent scheme is 54-year-old Matthew James who ran medical billing companies. The Long Island resident who used to be a nurse, now has ended up behind bars for his involvement in a $600 million medical scam.

Marcus Smart in Celtics, AP Photo
via AP

Marcus Smart prior to joining Grizzlies got involved in the identity theft unknowingly in 2018. Marcus Smart didn’t hide his concerns over the damage to his reputation of being a role model by Matthew James.

How did Matthew James scam everyone?

Matthew James used to impersonate wealthy clients to claim their medical insurance funds. He had some doctors in his contact and scheduled elective surgeries via emergency rooms.

This significantly boosted insurance reimbursement rates and was falsely billed following the procedures which were much different from the actual ones. It resulted in the rejection of claims which he took advantage of. He then called the respective insurance companies to demand the funds by throwing massive temper tantrums.

After Marcus Smart suffered a hand injury in 2018, Mr. James took full advantage of it and impersonated the then-Celtic star. Smart was not the only sports personality to get tangled in this sinister web.

NFL lawyer Jeff Pash also suffered a similar fate in the same year. This time around, the lawyer’s wife got heavily injured, and James called designated parties for NFL employees pretending to be Pash. Accounts of the incident mentioned that Mr. Pash angrily swore at the customer service executive. “These are people that work for the NFL, and I would hate to have them think that was me on that call,” Pash testified.

NFL lawyer Jeff Pash, Getty Images
via Getty

According to the defendant’s lawyer, he started his own business in 2007 and turned into an alcoholic due to immense family pressure. Matthew James’ apology has been conveyed to the concerned insurance companies for laundering millions of dollars.

Now that the conclusion of the multi-million dollar scandal has been reached, the focus turns to how quickly Marcus Smart can recover from his injury and make a comeback on the court.

SZ Desk

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